Trade

Agriculture Secretary Doesn’t Expect a Trade Deal This Week

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Or anytime soon.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke to CNN in an interview that was broadcast this morning in which he admitted that American farmers have paid the highest price for Trump's trade war with china but, more importantly, he said he doesn't expect Trump will strike a deal this week.

Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit which begins on Friday, but Perdue doesn't expect it will lead to a breakthrough.

Perdue told CNN he did not expect a trade deal to be reached when Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping this month at the G20 summit in Japan but hopes one can be struck by the end of the year. [...]

“I think they are one of the casualties with trade disruption, yes,” Perdue told CNN. “We knew going in that when you flew the penalty flag on China, the retaliation, if it came, would be against the farmer.

“I’ve told the president - and the president understands - you can’t pay the bills with patriotism,” Perdue told CNN. “We know that and certainly he knows that. That’s why he’s trying to supplement the damage they’re having from trade disruptions with market facilitation.”

"I don't think he'll come home with a deal," Perdue said, referring to Trump's upcoming trip to the G-20 summit in Japan, but he does expect Trump will come home with an agreement that it's time to "get serious about negotiation."

I think the farmers that Perdue supposedly speaks for would say the time to "get serious" was a year ago or at least before the current growing season.

Unfortunately for all of them, serious negotiation is not Trump's forte.

Assuming that Trump will not come home with a deal, all that remains to be seen is if he will impose more tariffs or delay the decision until the end of the year. Politically speaking, imposing more tariffs now would be less risky than imposing them right before Christmas.

Perdue also told CNN that farmers should not necessarily expect a third bailout in 2020, but you may recall that he also said there wouldn't be a second bailout.